Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster has made a landmark policy announcement that will enforce, with immediate effect, a ban on all tourist activities on all of Bali’s mountains and volcanos.
In this seismic announcement, Governor Koster has formally announced the ban of all activities on all of Bali’s mountains and volcanos.
While the ban on activities will be most felt by tourists who wish to explore the highlands, the ban also covers domestic tourists and even local people from stepping foot on the mountains.
In his statement issued to the press from Karangsem Regency in East Bali, next to the island’s biggest volcano Mount Agung, Governor Koster revealed the details of the ban.
@adinugrahakt Batur emang terbaiiik! #mountbatur #kintamani #bali ♬ Best Day of My Life – Stereo Avenue
Koster said, “This [ban] is in effect forever and local regulations will be issued to regulate everything. [The ban is] not only for foreign tourists but is including domestic tourists and local residents.”
He confirmed that there would be only very specific circumstances whereby even local people can step foot on the mountains and volcanos.
Koster said no one can access the mountains “unless there are religious ceremonies or disaster management and special activities that are not for tourism activities.”
@tr4velwithmel A must do if you are travelling to Bali! We were staying in Ubud which was a great location to do it as it only took us an hour to get there! #mountbatur #travellingbali #baliwhattodo #mountbatur #mountbaturbali #mountbaturvolcano #mountbatursunrisetrekking #ubudbali #thingstodoubud #thingstodoinbali #traveltips #travelguide #guisetobali #balitraveltips #balitravelguide ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
The decision to legislate a blanket ban on all activities on all of Bali’s twenty-two mountains comes as a result of numerous incidences whereby foreign tourists have violated the sacred nature of the island’s holy mountains.
This has largely included public displays of nudity, though accidents resulting in the serious injury of tourists and, even in tragic cases, deaths on the mountainsides have also informed the decision to enforce the ban.
Earlier this year, in February, Governor Koster announced a prospective ban on all activities on the mountain, though at the time, it was unclear to what extent a ban would impact tourism activities.
@aylinkko__ Not a bad way to start the day 🤪🌋 #sunrise #mountagung #bali #balilife #explorebali #travelbali #travelinspiration #fy ♬ GIVE IT TO ME X PROMISCUOUS – ALTÉGO
Speaking in February, Governor Koster said, “We [have] drafted a regional regulation specifically to make the mountain a sacred area. So that activities on the mountain can be controlled, entry is no longer free, it is [not] used as a tourist destination to go up to playing by motorbike to the top of the mountain.”
Governor Koster committed to ensuring that legislation would be drawn up in alignment with traditional Balinese customary law and values, noting that the regulations would be drafted by local leaders and the Sulinggih [High Priests] of Bali.
On the one hand, this announcement is a landmark victory for Bali lovers, locals and international visitors a like who wish to see the island’s most holy places conserved preserves and respected.
On the other, the ban on all activities on Bali’s mountains is a huge blow to tourism on the island, impacting not only adventurous tourists but also all the communities and small businesses that depend on mountain tourism activities for their income.
In the blink of an eye, mountain guides across the island will have to rethink their business models as they are immediately out of work. Mount Batur trekking and sunrise adventures are one of the most popular tourists day trips in Bali.
Anyone who has plans to experience the magical sunrise hike to Mount Batur will have to redirect their adventures to other nearby sunrise viewpoints in Kintamani.
So how can Bali tourists best experience the mountains now? Well, no one has been banned from enjoying the view!
There are plenty of incredible viewpoints around Bali’s most famous mountains, Mount Batur and Mount Agung.
Agrotourism projects in the highlands will undoubtedly receive a boost as tourists explore new ways to catch a glimpse of the mountains and enjoy time in Bali’s nature.
Interestingly, the ban on activities on Bali’s mountains comes just days after the Indonesian central government announced four new UNESCO Geoparks in the country.
UNESCO’s Mount Batur Geopark is perhaps the most internationally recognizable protected landscape in Indonesia, but just a few hours east and west of Bali’s mountains are two other incredible landmarks that adventurous tourists can still enjoy.
Just five hours drive west of central Bali is Mount Ijen which sits in the newly appointed UNESCO Ijen Global Geopark in East Java. Offering amazing hiking and lake vistas.
Just a few hours by boat and car from central Bali lies Lombok, home to the majestic Mount Rinjani.
Adventure lovers may be disappointed to miss out on their chance to experience Bali’s mountains from the summits, but Indonesia has so many more for tourists to enjoy.
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